Book your hotel in Big Meadows and pay later with Expedia. I made this loop into a 3 day 2 night because my group was inexperienced, and the drive in was exhausting.Only two spots to camp and limited water sources bring a filter. Big Meadows Lodge is located one mile from the large, grassy meadow at mile 51 on Skyline Drive - a meadow which is ideal for gorgeous night skies viewing.. Return to Fishers Gap along Rose River Trail. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The Hawksbill Summit was very busy but there were other more private vistas on Salamander Trail and the AT, definitely should plan your lunch for one of those. Hey everyone! Night two could be spent at a big clearing up the hill just before getting to Rose river Falls. Looking north, the highest peak in view (besides Hawksbill, of course) is Stony Man Mountain (4,011’), fronted by Pollock Knob (3,580’) and Bettys Rock (3,680’). Hiked this loop a few years ago and can’t wait to get back. But it wasn’t difficult to get to Rose River in 1 day. Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park Picture: View from Hawksbill, 4 miles and 1 hour hike from the Lodge - Check out Tripadvisor members' 4,518 candid photos and videos of Big Meadows Lodge Rose River Loop Hike Details. A variation of the Big Meadows & Rose River trip listed above, this is a fantastic two-night trip in the backcountry. The route is relatively wide and partly graveled but climbs at a persistent clip, gaining nearly 700 feet in elevation in less than a mile. The summit offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as mighty Massanutten Mountain to the west. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. Shenandoah National Park (VA): Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River 3-day Backpacking Loop. From here it is approximately 1.6 mile in a gradual climb back to the Big Meadows Complex. Rose River runs along the trail, upstream from the falls Skyland-Big Meadows Trail intersects with Rose River Fire Road near the end of the hike Dark Hollow Falls & Rose River Loop Trails. Hawksbill, Shenandoah National Park, August 2015. But if you want a slower easier pace (7ish miles a day) break it up into a 3 day two night. You can get off the AT at Big Meadows Campground or follow the AT a little further and get off at the Big Meadows Amphitheater. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. We chose one of the loops outlined by the National Park Service that took us by Lewis Falls, Big Meadows Campground, Hawksbill Mountain, Rose River Falls and Dark Hollow Falls among other sights. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. But beyond the first junction—which leads down to Rose River Falls—it is likely to be devoid of crowds. The gnats were brutal in early June and were the only downside of the whole experience. Close. Big Meadows/Hawksbill/Rose River + Campground and Backcountry. It had a little bit of everything: 1 peak, 2 waterfalls, plenty of water access, and wildlife. While the Salamander Trail and the Upper Hawksbill Parking Spur Trail might see a lot of foot travel during prime hiking season the 3 miles of the Skyland/Big Meadows Horse Trail will provide you with some degree of solitude. Overall, a highly recommended hike. Great loop with some varying scenery. share. Click for a park map of the Big Meadows area. It makes for a great day hike. We made our way down to the big meadows horse trail. Visitor Center to Dark Hollow Falls. Seems like upper starts at mile post 46 and lower begins elsewhere? There is place near waterfall . This is the group's first official hike! (bear box & pole, privy, 4-5 tent sites, spring 100 yds away) Hawksbill only 1 mile away to start Day 2 so possible to get there before crowds. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Big Meadows, Hawksbill, and Rose River. But beyond the first junction—which leads down to Rose River Falls—it is likely to be devoid of crowds. My Black Lab had a good time as well, dog friendly trail. I did this trail in 2 days and 1 night. This is the shortest loop from the Rose River Trailhead and is mostly fire road (although the lower Rose River Fire Road is pretty rocky), making it ideal for the novice trail runner. +1 on previous review. The Big Meadows/Hawksbill Mountain/Rose River trail is actually a combination of short trails to create a nice 20-21 mile loop for those who are looking for a longer hike or a … 8. I was in awe seeing the outline of the cloud shadows below and watching the hawks floating in front of me. Change ). Rooms at the property are equipped with a dining area and a kitchen area. The difficulty levels for finding campsites and hiking can vary from the given levels with adverse weather conditions and other environmental factors. Easy 7 mile hike to Rock Spring hut, with a spring, a day use cabin, shelter and good tent sites. best. Rounding out the view is tree-covered Nakedtop (~3,750’) in the foreground. The trail will now parallel another stream to your left, named Hogcamp Branch, which drains Big Meadows Swamp, and flows through Dark Hollow, and then becomes the principal tributary of Rose River. Pingback: Tuscarora Trail to Eagle Rock (George Washington National Forest, VA/WV) | Live and Let Hike, Pingback: Marys Rock via Panorama (Shenandoah National Park, VA) | Live and Let Hike, Pingback: Millers Head Trail (Shenandoah National Park, VA) | Live and Let Hike. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. Not the most view filled trail in Shenandoah but still a beautiful 2 days in the woods. Summer days are likely to see a lot of commotion from hikers and picnickers near the first trail junction, just a stone’s throw from the summit. (Circuit) Nights: 2. Appalachian Trail near Rock Spring Cabin, Shenandoah National Park. Before you know it, the AT spits out onto the Red Gate Road at Fishers Gap, your cue to turn left (leaving the AT) and cross Skyline Drive to the east side of the ridge. With Skyline Drive within earshot, bear right at a trail junction. At 4,050 feet, Hawksbill Mountain is the highest peak in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Short Hike: Using the Fishers Gap Parking Area, Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail, and Rose River Loop Trail, the shortest, out-and-back option is 2.6 miles with around 720' of elevation. save. In about 0.6 miles from the last junction turn right onto blue-blazed Rose River Loop Trail. Abt 7 miles per day, strenuous at times but not overly difficult for me, 12 yr old daughter & the dog. Nonetheless, it’s best to allot most of a day to complete the 8.8-mile circuit. ⛰ The hike will be a 14 mile loop starting at Milam Gap, stopping by Lewis Spring Falls, circling Big Meadows, meandering along Rose River where we will camp overnight, venturing around Stony Mountain, and finally ending back at Milam Gap. Topographic Map. Distance: 21 mi. The Big Meadows Horse Trail was long and honestly rather boring. Discover the metropolitan area of Big Meadows—skyscrapers, natural beauty, and sights from Harry F. Byrd Sr. Good Trail for two nights but be careful second day . We were visited by a VERY friendly 4pt Buck and a young bear in the morning. I saw 2 people on the Big Meadows Horse Trail and 3 people on the Rose River Loop Trail. This is the fire road directly across from Rose River Fire Road in the gap. Length 20.8 miElevation gain 4507 ftRoute type Loop. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. 100% Upvoted. However, the best parts of the hike are on the latter half, which begin by crossing Skyline Dr and turning right after the parking area onto the Appalachian Trail (AT) heading Northbound. On this trip we spent 3 days backpacking in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. First day we made our way to Rock Spring hut, beautiful wildflowers, fungi and insects a macro-photographer's heaven. Great 2-nighter with fantastic waterfalls and a ton of variation. Or continue north about a tenth of a mile past the Rock Spring hut Trail is a nice grassy clearing off to the right. Horseshoe trail was the most isolated of the bunch. Be sure to follow rules for back country camping and bring enough water. Great loop for all types of fitness levels and every age but definitely not for the couch potato. Park at the overlook or in the smaller lot just north of the overlook parking area. Down below is Timber Hollow, feeding into the patchwork of farms and forests of the Shenandoah Valley. Lots of places to get water in mid June. The incline increases significantly after about two miles on the Skyland-Big Meadows track, ascending through woodlands partly decimated by some sort of fungus or beetle (?). Included is a visit to Hawksbill Summit, the highest peak in … Kite Hollow and the Shenandoah Valley from the Franklin Cliffs. The first leg—the 0.8-mile Lower Hawksbill Trail—heads west from the parking area and immediately begins to ascend a rocky slope. Each one of these trails offers something a little different and they all work really well together. Cross the drive and shortly there after turn left onto yellow-blazed Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail. Nearly immediately, a rock outcrop offers additional views to the west. Huge thank you to previous reviewers for tips and details on this trail. share. Trail Map of Hawksbill – Fishers Gap Loop, including Skyland-Big Meadows Trail, Shenandoah National Park; adapted from Enjoy free cancellation on most hotels. Hawksbill is a great hike with an awesome view. Lacking sweeping views, the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail is admittedly less interesting than Hawksbill and the AT. The woods along Big Meadow are pretty and the beginning stretch on the AT, with the views, cliffs, and mountain laurel, is beautiful. Top Hotels in Big Meadows Vacation Rentals in Big Meadows Never been to Shen before - Park is beautiful, will definitely be back to explore more. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. The trail is primarily used for hiking. I started at the Upper Hawksbill parking area. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. The trail skirts around Spitler Knoll then gradually descends to the Franklin Cliffs area, where a half dozen rock crags offer excellent views of the Shenandoah Valley and Kite Hollow. [Hikers: Simon, Danielle, Meredith, Emily, Erika, Shoshana] Did the loop backwards but was still a blast! I went after about a week of rain so had many opportunities to filter water. ( Log Out /  Trip Report. View of Stony Man Mountain and Blue Ridge from Hawksbill, Shenandoah National Park. Bear right again and follow the path for 50 yards to Hawksbill’s true summit; the neatly-maintained overlook offers 270-degree vistas. Meadow near the end of the hike, along the Skyland-Big Meadows Trail. Length 9.0 mi Elevation gain 1,893 ft Route type Loop. ... Spottswood Dining Room offers American cuisine. The Three Falls hike is a circuit that passes Rose River Falls, Dark Hollow Falls, and Lewis Spring Falls. I used the Shenandoah trip planner on the website and it offered a great written itinerary for the hike that was helpful without taking away the experience of discovery by being overly descriptive. We were visited by another family of deer. The AT section that follows is very interesting, especially as the gradient off to right steepens to near vertical and lichen-covered rock faces dot the upward slope on the left. Show more Show less. We stayed at the Rock Springs Shelter 1st night, as described on Park website. Night 2 has a few options to camp, from Rose River Falls to next stream crossing. The venue also features a carpark and a restaurant. Bear right and emerge from the woods at the sight of the Byrds Nest Shelter #2 (day use only), situated in a small clearing a short walk from the precipice of a rock outcrop offering fine views to the north and west. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Shenandoah National Park (VA): Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River 3-day Backpacking Loop. Trip Report. ( Log Out /  Start and end at Hawksbill Gap, located along Skyline Drive roughly 14 miles south of the Thornton Gap Entrance Station in Shenandoah’s Central District. Access: MP 53. Can you explain the difference between “upper hawksbill trail” and “lower hawksbill trail”? I give it a 5 star review because I couldn’t stomach giving it 4 stars. 1 comment. The Salamander Trail lives up to its name, sliding gingerly down the hillside in a series of S-curves before meeting the Appalachian Trail (AT) after about 0.7 miles. To the east, look for iconic Old Rag Mountain (3,268’), as well as Robertson Mountain (3,296’). Surprisingly not many bugs & temps were comfortably high 60s-low 70s daytime & quite cool overnight. Eat & Drink. Third day we decided to take a different route up dark hollow falls due to a group members injury but it was a really nice hike up the falls nonetheless, heavily trafficked. Second day we made our way through the salamander trail caught a glimpse of two turkeys and made our way up Hawksbill, we got there around 9:30a and was already filling up, great view. Shenandoah National Park - Video Trip Report - Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River Loop. There wasn't much to see; the trail descended the side of Spitler Hill into the upper Rose River watershed, then, followed the side of the mountain for two miles or so until reaching two stream crossings of the upper reaches of the Rose River. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. What is there to do near Big Meadows Lodge? With the exception of strenuous climbs at Hawksbill and Spitler Hill, most of the loop is relatively easy. Jones Mountain Trail to Cat Knob and Bear Church Rock, Dark Hollow via Appalachian Trail and Story of the Forest Trail, Laurel Prong, Rapidan Camp, Jones Mountain Trail via Appalachian Trail, Rose River Trail to Lewis Falls Trail and Appalachian Trail, Rose River Trail to Story of the Forest Trail Loop, Big Meadows to Lewis Mountain Cabins via Appalachian Trail, Cat Knob, Bear Church Rocks, Staunton River Trail, Fork Mountain, Jones Mountain and Fork Mountain Horse Trail, Appalachian Trail, Hawksbill, Horseshoe Trail, and Rose River Loop. Rose River – Big Meadows – Rapidan Fire Road – Dark Hollow. Recommend filling up on water at the Hut. Mar 7, 2017 - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA May 8-10, 2016 Highlights: Big Meadows, Hawksbill, and Rose River Loops Trip Length: 3 days, 21 miles round trip Level: Strenuous "Beginner" Sort by. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Does Big Meadows Lodge offer free cancellation for a full refund? ( Log Out /  A lot water on trail but I suggest take filter. Very good trip as get more experience on the trail, everything was well marked. Appalachian Trail, Hawksbill, Horseshoe Trail, and Rose River Loop is a 20.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Elkton, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. On the trail it felt like FOREVER but once we hit the top of Rose River falls theres a trail that lead up to a nice clearing with plenty of flat ground to pitch your tents and plenty of water to stock up on. The Big Meadows/Hawksbill/Rose River trio is a beautiful 3 day, 2 night trip. The trail climbs more than 600 feet to the rounded top of Spitler Hill (3,720’)—alas, there are no views—where pine trees line the trail. Find a good spot for a lunch or snack break, then retrace your steps back into the forest to the Hawksbill trail junction. We opted for the tents as they had a nice view of the small town lights. Some of the nicest views I’ve seen from this area:). The incline increases significantly after about two miles on the Skyland-Big Meadows track, ascending … Here you’ll also find views of River Falls. Hawksbill Gap serves as the trailhead for a number of popular hikes (including the fantastic Whiteoak Canyon-Cedar Run loop), so arrive early to get a parking spot. Don't miss out on great hotels and other accommodations near Dark Hollow Falls, Rose River Falls, and Luray Caverns. Also, depending on when you go, look into bringing a bug net. Day 2 was especially awesome, despite heavy rains & day hiker crowds It had nonstop rushing waters & so many falls, hard to pick a favorite spot. Here the Rose River Fire Road descends gently into a wooded hollow; roughly 30 yards down the gravel track, bear left onto the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail, your guide for the remaining five miles back to Hawksbill Gap. Posted by 2 hours ago. I have seen bears right across from the parking lot. Thorofare Mountain, Robertson Mountain, and Old Rag from Hawksbill summit, Shenandoah National Park. All said, we loved the trail and would definitely recommend! You can take a 4 mile hike-in to Big Meadows Campground from Milepost 53 at Milam Gap. Hawksbill Mountain, Franklin Cliffs, Big Meadows Horse Trail is a 9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Syria, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. Bear left on the AT, following the route through a sea of ferns to the next trail junction—a short spur trail to the Rock Spring Cabin. Timber Hollow and the Shenandoah Valley from Hawksbill, Shenandoah National Park. This loop is made by connecting the AT, Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail, Rose River Loop Trail, Dark Hollow Falls Trail, and finally returns to Big Meadows by the Story of the Forest Trail. Across the valley is Massanutten Mountain, a behemoth extending dozens of miles to the north and south. The route weaves gently north before crossing Rose River and a nearby tributary. Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park Picture: View from Hawksbill, 4 miles and 1 hour hike from the Lodge - Check out Tripadvisor members' 4,518 candid photos and videos. Camped just before Rose River Falls at about mile 14. Leisure. There was one set of boot prints for the first mile or so on Big Meadow, I broke trail to the junction with Rose River, and there were two sets of boot prints on the AT. Sunday September, 2007. Crossing Rose River on the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail. Continue straight on the AT. Bear right and continue for roughly 1/10 mile to a second junction; turn right again, embarking on the winding Salamander Trail. Nearby restaurants include Hawksbill Diner (8.6 mi), Pollock Dining Room (9.1 mi) and Ciro's Pizza (9.2 mi). Difficulty: Strenuous Beginner . Hawksbill Creek goes off the west side, Little Hawksbill goes off the north side of the mountain, and the source of the Rapidan River … Other than those two camp spots I didn’t see too many. Depending on where in the campground you start and intercept the AT, the mileage will vary a bit. Not easy to find place where you can spend night . (This is NOT an online event, we just can't change it in the settings.) The route weaves gently north before crossing Rose River and a nearby tributary. After a series of switchbacks begin following the river to a 25 foot waterfall. The Rose River Loop trail is near the top of the map. ( Log Out /  This trail was fantastic. Shenandoah National Park charges a fee to enter. There are two parking areas with ample space. In the middle of the meadow is the source of the Rose River and Dark Hollow Falls, a popular hike. I saw a mother bear, two cubs, and no humans for the better part of 2-3 hours. Big Meadows is known for its mountain views, forests, and waterfalls. Dates: September 29, 2018 Type: Loop Total Distance: 5.1 miles (8.2 km) round trip It is really special. Cross the road to return to the start. If you wanted to do this in 3 days two nights you could camp the first night at Rock Spring Hut. Lacking sweeping views, the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail is admittedly less interesting than Hawksbill and the AT. Guests can enjoy a meal in Big Meadows Lodge Dining, which are located about 5 minutes’ walk from Big Meadows Lodge Shenandoah National Park. Save big on a wide range of Big Meadows hotels! The trip took 3 days and 2 nights. If you are looking for an awesome multi-day hike in Shenandoah National Park, then this one is worth a look! This loop is best completed in a clockwise direction. save hide report. The 1.4-mile stretch that follows is easy and straightforward; paralleling Skyline Drive (from a distance), the trail cuts through two minor meadows before returning to the trailhead. The trail begins across from Fishers Gap Overlook, just north of mile 50 on Skyline Drive. Especially when the temps drop a little lower than expected. It’s a short, albeit steep, climb to the top, making Hawksbill a popular day hike destination; more ambitious hikers, however, can head farther south to complete a nearly 9-mile loop that captures additional overlooks and lush meadows. We did it in reverse and tried to avoid staying at the Big Meadows campground, though there weren’t a ton of options otherwise for that night. Awesome loop, very highly recommend. 1 comment. Great views and wildlife and challenge. Appalachian Trail, Hawksbill, Horseshoe Trail, and Rose River Loop is a 33.5 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Elkton, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. There is also an option of shortening the distance, and vertical gain, by opting out of the Lewis Spring Falls section for a total of 6.1 mls and 1530ft gain. It combines the highest peak in Shenandoah with the coolest campground in the park and the 9-mile Rose River. These are three of the most beautiful falls in the SNP. Rose river was peaceful and has some nice camping spots. We learned that fire and beer can REALLY change the morale of cold weather camping. The hike down to the Rose River Falls is … Note there is a 6-7 mile stretch between Big Meadows and Rose River that doesn’t have water and has a huge ascent, so plan ahead there. Fishers Gap to Hawksbill Mountain Summit via Appalachian Trail.

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